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Holland and The Netherlands

 

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A beautiful array of 5 Star Hotels and Luxury Resorts in the Netherlands will add charm to any family vacation or European getaway.

The Netherlands has come to be known for its waterways and dikes, picture-perfect villages, historic windmills, enviable art museums, the bustling capital city of Amsterdam and of course, millions of flowering tulips. It’s truly a country you can almost visualize when you close your eyes – even if you’ve never been there.

The culture and history of this country is rich and worth absorbing during your travels. And, the 5 star hotels and luxury resorts in the Netherlands will bring a new appreciation to your family vacation or European getaway.

NETHERLANDS TOURS AND ACTIVITIES

Sightseeing in the Netherlands – The Netherlands is full of history and charm, including many museums, cultural sites and stunning scenery. Art lovers and history buffs will dizzy at the many opportunities to see European art at its finest. A few highlights include Rotterdam harbor (the third largest in the world), Kinderdijk, (with its 19 astonishingly well-preserved, UNESCO World Heritage-designated windmills dating back to the 1500s) and the impressive Keukenhof Gardens in Zaandam . These public gardens have more than seven million bulbs planted on a 70-acre site.

River Cruising in the Netherlands – It’s hard to think about not getting on the water when in you’re in The Netherlands – whether its one of its many canals and waterways or the fabled Rhine River. Visitors to Europe who want to experience the beauty of the Netherlands often choose a Rhine River cruise that pairs it with Germany, Luxembourg and even Switzerland.

Amsterdam, Netherlands – The country’s largest city is home to an eclectic mix of history, art, architecture, bridges, canals, cobblestone streets and museums. While there, be sure to tour one of the most prestigious museums in the world—the Rijksmuseum. The museum is home to the world’s largest collection of Dutch and Flemish art and artifacts, including Rembrandt’s The Night Watch and Vermeer’s The Kitchen Maid. Also consider the Van Gogh Museum and witness the largest collection of his paintings in the world.

Shopping in the Netherlands – Shop for diamonds, licorice, cheese, decorative tiles, wooden shoes and antiques. The country has many open-air street markets that may be general purpose or specialized, touting antiques, art, books, organic products and stamps.

Dining in the Netherlands – The Netherlands has a wide variety of local cuisine and international restaurants. However, be sure to visit local Dutch restaurants, where you’ll often find excellent seafood and fish dishes (especially oysters and herring) and flavorful cheeses. Try the Dutch pancakes (pannenkoeken), usually eaten for lunch or for dessert. They’re much larger (though thinner) than their North American counterparts.

NETHERLANDS FAST FACTS

Population of the Netherlands – 16.5 million

Languages in the Netherlands – Dutch, Friesian and English, as well as German and French.

Religions in the Netherlands – Christian (Roman Catholic, Dutch Reformed), Jewish, Islamic.

Time Zone in the Netherlands – One hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+1 GMT). Daylight Saving Time is observed from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.

Voltage Requirements the Netherlands – 220 volts

Currency in the Netherlands – Euro

Weather in the Netherlands – The climate in the Netherlands is quite mild year-round. From mid-May to October (some of the better months to visit) temperatures rarely exceed 80° F and evenings typically stay in the 50s and 60s F. The Netherlands is a very damp place that sees many days of rain.

The Netherlands Geography – Water defines life in the Netherlands. Because so much of the country is below sea level, Dutch life depends on 1,500 miles of dikes. (One-fifth of the nation is built on reclaimed lands.) The only true hills are in the southeastern corner of the country. The Netherlands is bordered by Germany, Belgium and the North Sea.

Safety in the Netherlands – The Netherlands is a very safe place to travel. However, be alert and use common sense as you do when visiting any international destination. Keep belonging close by, ensure valuables are out of sight and be aware of your surroundings (especially in Amersterdam).

NETHERLANDS FUN FACTS

  • The Netherlands’ has historical roots as one of Europe’s major trade and transportation centers.
  • In 1670, the Dutch traded New Amsterdam—it’s called New York City today—to the British for Suriname.
  • The Amsterdam Hilton was the site of John Lennon’s and Yoko Ono’s 1969 “Bed-In for Peace.” The couple checked into one of the hotel’s suites, removed all of the furniture except for the bed and then called a press conference protesting the Vietnam War.
  • The tulip actually arrived from Turkey in the 17th century.
  • At one point, there were more than 10,000 windmills in the country.
  • Flooding is extensively used for security purposes; some 80% of the Netherlands’ gold is kept below canal level so it can be flooded if thieves threaten.

NETHERLANDS – INSIDER TIP

Don’t call the Netherlands “Holland.” Holland actually only refers to two specific provinces (out of 12) that make up the country.

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PIQUE Travel Design is a travel agency based in Minneapolis, Minnesota serving clients across the globe.